Worcester Tech hosts breakfast to raise money for injured firefighter Chris Pace

WORCESTER, MASS. (WHDH) - Worcester residents came out Saturday to raise money for a firefighter who was badly injured in last month’s blaze that claimed the life of another firefighter, with another fundraiser planned for Sunday as well.

Firefighter Chris Pace was working alongside Lt. Jason Menard during a blaze at a Stockholm Street home last month when the firefighters became trapped by flames. Menard pushed pace out of a third-floor window, giving up his life to save his crew.

Pace suffered a collapsed lung, broken ribs and burns. He is still on bed rest, but was able to come home from the hospital in time for Thanksgiving, according to his brother Dan Pace.

“That was a blessing that was a shock to us, but it was great he could come home, in a comfortable setting, with his family and enjoy the holidays,” Dan Pace said, adding his brother still has his ups and downs. “He’s doing good, he has his good days and bad days, but he’s pulling through.”

Chris Pace has a long road to recovery and has another baby on the way this spring. Community members have stepped up to help, with staff and students from Worcester Tech — Pace’s alma mater — organizing a pancake breakfast and fundraiser Saturday.

“It’s something I learned when I first started working here 20 years ago, we take care of our own at Worcester Tech,” said Kevin Layton, head of the Culinary Arts Department.

Students and staff cooked and served breakfast, and printed T-shirts and brought in items for a silent auction, including a hockey jersey autographed by Denis Leary. Other Worcester officials showed up to help out as well.

“We really do want him to know that Worcester Tech is standing behind him, and anything the family needs, we’re there,” said Worcester Public Schools Superintendent Maureen Binienda.

“Worcester always comes together in times of tragedy,” said Worcester County District Attorney Joe Early.

The Queen’s Cups bakery will also hold a fundraiser for Pace on Sunday. Dan Pace said the support meant a lot as the family deals with tough times.

“It’s just like a reminder that you know, you’re not alone,” Pace said. “We’re holding up. we’re good most days and then it kind of reminds us again what happens, but we’re all pulling through.”

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